Imagine change. Intermittent Fasting …

I am committed to making positive changes in 2018.

Instead of making unattainable New Year’s resolutions, I am going to keep the idea of positive change forefront in my thoughts throughout the year by regularly thinking “Imagine. Change., the words fortuitously embroidered on the young skater’s right shoulder that I met on the flight home from Phoenix two weeks ago.

It’s my 2018 mantra.

The first change I am making is to revise my diet and eating schedule to help maintain a more optimum cycling weight throughout the entire year, not just during the cycling season.

We all know that excess body weight is the cyclist’s nemesis. And, who doesn’t have a few extra pounds. I certainly do. And, at the beginning of each cycling season, I try to shed them. This year I got down to 152 pounds, the lowest I have been in decades, and close to my ideal cycling weight.

This winter, I want to keep my weight under 160 pounds so that as the season approaches, I won’t be struggling to lose weight, and can concentrate on my bike handling skills and conditioning.

How am I going to do that?

Well, I’m going to give intermittent fasting a try. I like the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours, and then consume your daily calories during the next 8. It is the same schedule each and every day, and enables me to workout in the morning before having my first meal of the day, a technique purported to accelerate weight loss.

Intermittent fasting is controversial. Some like it. Some don’t. Some say it is the quickest, and most effective, way to lose belly fat. Some argue it makes little difference, saying all that maters is to consume fewer calories than you expend throughout the day. For me, the method makes sense, and also conditions the body to use fat stores for energy, something endurance athletes need to learn to do.

After considerable research, I am convinced intermittent fasting is beneficial. Here are 10 evidence-based benefits to consider.

I’ll try this for several months, and then report back. I have a 100 km century ride planned for the first week in April. By then I want to be at my optimum cycling weight, and will know if intermittent fasting worked for me.